exact

verb
ex·​act | \ ig-ˈzakt How to pronounce exact (audio) \
exacted; exacting; exacts

Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to call for forcibly or urgently and obtain from them has been exacted the ultimate sacrifice— D. D. Eisenhower
2 : to call for as necessary or desirable

exact

adjective

Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : exhibiting or marked by strict, particular, and complete accordance with fact or a standard
2 : marked by thorough consideration or minute measurement of small factual details

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Other Words from exact

Verb

exactable \ ig-​ˈzak-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce exactable (audio) \ adjective
exactor or less commonly exacter \ ig-​ˈzak-​tər How to pronounce exacter (audio) \ noun

Adjective

exactness \ ig-​ˈzak(t)-​nəs How to pronounce exactness (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for exact

Verb

demand, claim, require, exact mean to ask or call for something as due or as necessary. demand implies peremptoriness and insistence and often the right to make requests that are to be regarded as commands. demanded payment of the debt claim implies a demand for the delivery or concession of something due as one's own or one's right. claimed the right to manage his own affairs require suggests the imperativeness that arises from inner necessity, compulsion of law or regulation, or the exigencies of the situation. the patient requires constant attention exact implies not only demanding but getting what one demands. exacts absolute loyalty

Adjective

correct, accurate, exact, precise, nice, right mean conforming to fact, standard, or truth. correct usually implies freedom from fault or error. correct answers socially correct dress accurate implies fidelity to fact or truth attained by exercise of care. an accurate description exact stresses a very strict agreement with fact, standard, or truth. exact measurements precise adds to exact an emphasis on sharpness of definition or delimitation. precise calibration nice stresses great precision and delicacy of adjustment or discrimination. makes nice distinctions right is close to correct but has a stronger positive emphasis on conformity to fact or truth rather than mere absence of error or fault. the right thing to do

Do you exact or extract revenge?

Verb

The verb exact (as in, "exacting revenge" or "exacting a promise") is not as commonly encountered as the adjective exact, (as in "an exact copy" or "exact measurements"). Sometimes people will mistakenly use the more common verb extract when they really want exact. Extract can refer to removing something by pulling or cutting or to getting information from someone who does not want to give it. While both words refer to getting something they are used in different ways. You extract a tooth, but you exact revenge.

Did You Know?

Verb

Exact derives from a form of the Latin verb exigere, meaning "to drive out, to demand, or to measure." (Another descendant of exigere is the word exigent, which can mean "demanding" or "requiring immediate attention.") Exigere, in turn, was formed by combining the prefix ex- with the verb agere, meaning "to drive." Agere has been a very prolific source of words for English speakers; it is the ancestor of agent, react, mitigate, and navigate, just to name a few. Incidentally, if you are looking for a synonym of the verb exact, you could try demand, call for, claim, or require.

Examples of exact in a Sentence

Verb

They would not rest until they had exacted revenge. He was able to exact a promise from them.

Adjective

Those were his exact words. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation. We don't know the exact nature of the problem. Predicting the path of hurricanes is not an exact science. The police have an exact description of the killer. Please take the most exact measurements possible. He is very exact in the way he solves a problem.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The new tariffs target a wide range of American products, but the EU’s list includes a number of products chosen specifically to exact a political price from Trump and his supporters. Washington Post, BostonGlobe.com, "EU trade tariffs take effect, in latest rift between US and its closest allies," 22 June 2018 Of course there's never any shortage of memorable acting on Broadway, but the shortage of high-quality new plays has exacted a toll. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "Tony Award nominations reflect an anemic year for original ideas. Here's a critic's take on the bright spots," 1 May 2018 Apart from the airstrikes, an economic war is exacting a far greater toll and now risks tipping the country into a famine of catastrophic proportions. Declan Walsh, The Seattle Times, "The tragedy of Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen," 26 Oct. 2018 Letting temperatures rise will exact a huge toll on lives, natural systems, and the economy. Umair Irfan, Vox, "4 big takeaways from the UN’s alarming climate change report," 9 Oct. 2018 The court’s decision is the latest evidence that moves to weaken unions are exacting a major toll. Noam Scheiber, New York Times, "Labor Unions Will Be Smaller After Supreme Court Decision, but Maybe Not Weaker," 27 June 2018 El-Sissi has enacted ambitious economic reforms, including subsidy cuts and the floatation of the local currency, that have won international praise but exacted a heavy toll on ordinary Egyptians. Hamza Hendawi, chicagotribune.com, "Egypt's president wins re-election with 97 percent of vote," 2 Apr. 2018 The gridlock was intended to exact political retribution on the borough’s Democratic mayor for refusing to endorse Mr. Christie’s 2013 re-election bid, prosecutors said. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "‘Bridgegate’ Convictions Largely Upheld by Appeals Court," 27 Nov. 2018 After getting permission from DiPalma’s parents, Sannicandro decided to exact his revenge. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Florida barber's bloody ear prank on 10-year-old boy sparks mixed reactions," 2 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Founded in 2015 by Rachel Cohen and Andres Modak, the direct-to-consumer home brand took great care in crafting its new linen line—three years to be exact. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Snowe’s New Linen Bedding is the Key to Sweet Dreams," 26 Feb. 2019 At the end of the show's Season 3 teaser trailer, viewers were given a glimpse of this exact moment, with handmaids lining up on the National Mall, with the Washington Monument turned into a giant cross in the distance. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Handmaid's Tale Season 3 Is Filming in Front of the Washington Monument," 17 Feb. 2019 Sheldon just so happens to pause the tape at the exact moment George Sr. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Big Bang Theory," 6 Dec. 2018 Also known as the rising sign, the Ascendant is the furthest left point of the central horizon line and quite literally reveals which zodiac sign was emerging from the eastern horizon at your exact moment of birth. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "The 12 Astrological Houses: Interpreting Your Birth Chart Beyond the Zodiac," 6 Oct. 2018 Her Fitbit data indicated the exact moments those wounds occurred, with her heart rate dramatically spiking then crashing to nothing. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Fitbit data used to charge 90-year-old man in gruesome hacking murder case," 5 Oct. 2018 The Vatican announced Francis accepted his resignation at the exact moment the U.S. delegation was arriving at the Apostolic Palace for the meeting with the pope. Greg Norman, Fox News, "Pope Francis leads Vatican summit on abuse scandal, OKs probe of American bishop accused of sex harassment," 13 Sep. 2018 Unsurprisingly, her fans (some of whom were eagle-eyed enough to notice the exact moment in which Cyrus began deleting photos) have some theories. refinery29.com, "Why Did Miley Cyrus Delete Her Instagram Posts? Fans Have A Few Theories," 14 July 2018 The mostly marvelous new Jetta arrives at the exact moment when U.S. car shoppers have turned their backs on compact sedans, abandoning what used to be a massive market segment in favor of taller, hipper small SUVs. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Review: 2019 Jetta is Volkswagen’s best compact sedan," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'exact.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of exact

Verb

1564, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for exact

Verb

Middle English exacten "to require as payment," borrowed from Latin exāctus, past participle of exigere "to drive out, achieve, enforce payment of or the performance of (a task), require, inquire into, examine" from ex- ex- entry 1 + agere "to drive (cattle), be in motion, do, perform" — more at agent

Adjective

borrowed from Latin exāctus, from past participle of exigere "to drive out, achieve, require, inquire into, examine, measure" — more at exact entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near exact

ex-

exa-

exacerbate

exact

exacta

exact differential

exacting

Statistics for exact

Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for exact

The first known use of exact was in 1533

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More Definitions for exact

exact

verb

English Language Learners Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal
: to demand and get (something, such as payment or revenge) especially by using force or threats
used in phrases like exact a terrible toll and exact a high/heavy price to say that something has caused a lot of suffering, loss, etc.

exact

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

: fully and completely correct or accurate
: very careful and accurate

exact

adjective
ex·​act | \ ig-ˈzakt How to pronounce exact (audio) \

Kids Definition of exact

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: completely correct or precise : accurate an exact copy the exact time

Other Words from exact

exactly adverb
exactness noun

exact

verb
exacted; exacting

Kids Definition of exact (Entry 2 of 2)

: to demand and get by force or threat They exacted terrible revenge.

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More from Merriam-Webster on exact

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with exact

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for exact

Spanish Central: Translation of exact

Nglish: Translation of exact for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of exact for Arabic Speakers

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